I wish I'd had time to take more pictures of the view we encountered as the sun had just risen over the campus while we drove up. Beautiful and breathtaking. My pictures that I took from a moving bus hours later don't even begin to do it justice. To help you imagine it, take note that the entire campus is set up on a hill, so you are looking up at this magnificent view from the road below. We immediately fell in love, which set the tone for the entire day we spent together.
Since we arrived so early, we took our own little tour around parts of the campus, which, of course, led us to the soccer field where Juan hopes to have the opportunity to play all through college. He enjoyed sitting in the stands, imagining himself out on the field. His high school situation was pretty complicated, so we're not sure yet whether he is technically eligible to play for the school, but we hope to contact a few more people this week to get exact clarification on his elibigility.
The day's events began in the lower level of the chapel with breakfast and a warm introduction. The room was packed out with over 300 guests.
First, a picture of a "Future Patriot". :)
After breakfast and an introduction, everyone's day began with a challenging chapel service. As I sat through the service, singing praise songs side by side with my son, I relived so many positive memories of my own college years in two different Christian colleges, Taylor University and Grace College. I know firsthand how powerful, influential, and life-changing a Christian college education can be, and I am so thankful for how God has used our student ministry leaders at church to give both of my boys a desire to attend a Christian school.
After chapel, they provided an amazing lunch where we sat through more speakers to tell us about the mission of DBU. When I read the Academic Vision Statement of DBU, it reminded me of Grace College's emphasis on teaching servant leadership.
"Building a gret Christian university that is pleasing to God by producing Christ-centered servant leaders who are transforming the world."
The speakers made it a point to let us know that they specifically designed the campus to provide displays and reminders of Christ everywhere the students look, and they also intentionally created sacred spaces where students can escape to sit alone to reflect and talk with God.
These signs are on every street pole all over the campus, one of my favorite Scripture verses. So inspiring. All the spiritual aspects spoke volumes to me about what a great environment this could be for my son who, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to grow up in the most wholesome of environments. I can only imagine what four years in a place like this could do for him. Small class sizes. Small teacher to student ratio. Constant reminders of why were are here, to pursue a relationship with Christ. Surrounded by other Christian young men and women. Solid teaching mixed with faith in every subject area.
Of course, to Juan, he didn't quite see what I saw. But he did get pretty excited when he saw the varying possibilities for upperclassment student housing. Yes, these houses serve as apartments for groups of 4-7 students, right on campus, with a very reasonable cost for rent when it's split up between them.
They agreed to waive the application fee for any student that filled out the application before leaving, so Juan filled it out and turned it in before we left. He came home and wrote a short essay explaining why he wants to attend DBU, and yesterday he wrote another essay for a scholarship application. We're still waiting on a few other things before they can say if he's accepted or not and release his financial aid package to us, and then we can see if the school is even a financial possibility for us.
All in all, it was a really good day for both of us. Even if he ends up going somewhere else, this was a great place to start looking. I am excited to see the plans that God has for our son.